Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Bitterbrush (Emelie Mahdavian)

Watch an exclusive clip above.

While they don’t know it yet, this is, for friends Colie Moline and Hollyn Patterson, the end of five years range riding together in the American Pacific Northwest. It’s also their most comfortable after trading the usual camper for an old cabin this summer. With only themselves and a crew of herd dogs for assistance, they take to the Idahoan plains in search of the beef cattle and calves they’ve been contracted to reclaim. The work is tiring and tenuous in consistency, but also spiritually and physically rewarding—if not financially. Colie and Hollyn have grown close: an easy rapport and trust that allows director Emelie Mahdavian (and us) a glimpse into their personal lives, thoughts, and aspirations. It’s western living sans artifice. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

CIVIL (Nadia Hallgren)

As the attorney for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake, as well as the victims of the Flint water crisis, and more, 52-year-old Benjamin Crump represents the face of justice for much of America’s gravest sins. An engaging new documentary takes a verité approach in capturing his day-to-day ongoings as well as the major moments of the last few years. While it doesn’t get as introspective as one might hope, to see Crump eloquently handle questions of making money off tragedy will set the record straight––and it is of course fascinating to get a peek behind the curtain when it comes to bittersweet victory when verdicts are handed down.

Where to Stream: Netflix

Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg)

In Crimes of the Future, an underground movement of performance artists try understanding a world in which humans grow new organs on a regular basis and pain, for some reason, has vanished. The director, of course, is David Cronenberg, back with his first film in eight years and just the second original screenplay he has developed since 1999’s eXistenZ. Since its announcement last year Crimes has been marketed as Cronenberg’s long-awaited return to body horror, a lubricious realm that he hasn’t fully embraced since… 1999’s Existenz. Miraculously, it delivers on that promise: a film of erotic surgery and designer organs; in which a live autopsy is performed on a young boy for a crowd of trendy onlookers; and in which the recently regal Kristen Stewart gives a performance so tweaked it might actually be the embodiment of edging. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland)

Flux Gourmet is arguably the first instance where Peter Strickland, the British genre specialist who’s always seemed inches away from a real career breakthrough, has had the storyline and structure—the real, solid content, basically—to make something as good as his posters and loglines promise. Making reference to promotional material is not superficial: more than anyone associated with arthouse horror (or “elevated horror,” to stir the pot) currently working, he is absolutely soaked, marinated in more disreputable sides of the genre: to be blunt, the softcore, Europhile, blood-soaked exploitation kind. Where the goal, some decades ago, was to just make you buy a ticket for the thing… so you could see all that. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Happening (Audrey Diwan)

Diwan’s sophomore feature is an unglamorous, straightforward film that tells a simple story about an ordinary girl. It is also the single most intense, shatteringly empathetic thing I’ve seen all year. Carried by Anamaria Vartolomei’s fiercely committed performance, the ’60s-set drama takes on the subject of unintended pregnancy and illustrates how far from a political / religious issue it can be when it happens to you. Abortion has been dealt with in landmark films, but the intimacy of perspective achieved here feels truly unmatched. A vital call for kindness like no other. – Zhuo-Ning Su

Where to Stream: VOD

Hit the Road (Panah Panahi)

There’s not much exposition in Hit the Road. In fact it takes most of Panah Panahi’s remarkable directorial debut, about a family traveling across northwestern Iran, to understand the full gravity of this noisy and comical road trip. Yet this movie’s power comes in the slow-burning revelations found through the straightaway desert roads and rolling lush hills, which amount to an emotionally wrenching crescendo. – Jake K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Întregalde (Radu Muntean)

Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean’s latest work, Întregalde, expertly plays with genre trappings to tell a grounded story of humanitarian impulses gone awry. Set in rural Transylvania as we follow a trio of aid workers who find themselves in an unfamiliar locale while night closes in, it’s an enveloping, precise study of cracking open the veneer of generosity––and one of the best ending shots this year. Continue reading my interview.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

The Summer Movie (Emmanuel Marre)

Before Zero Fucks Given, Emmanuel Marre won the Prix Jean Vigo for The Summer Movie. Filmed over five days during a hot summer in Marseilles, it chronicles the surprising connection between an aimless 37-year-old and a nine-(and-a-half)-year-old kid. Guided by sunbaked spontaneity, they traipse between gas stations and hotel rooms on an elongated road trip through coastal France.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

Watcher (Chloe Okuno)

Ever since It Follows, the 2014 horror movie about a spectral grim reaper stalking a teenage girl, Maika Monroe has become her generation’s avatar of fear and paranoia. Throughout her filmography, she boasts an inner world of melancholy that begins in a delicate register and then multiplies into a feverish anguish the farther her characters tumble down their own rabbit holes. It’s the kind of psychological spiraling that gives oxygen to director Chloe Okuno’s feature debut, Watcher, a chamber piece thriller and the latest gaslighting parable to champion Monroe’s specific set of skills. – Jake K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

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